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MN lawsuit calls CPS laws unconstitutional, 'kidnapping'

An association of Minnesota parents brought a lawsuit against state and county agencies who enforce the laws of Child Protection Services. The case went to federal court on Tuesday.

MINNEAPOLIS - On Tuesday, about 200 Minnesota parents will gather in support of a civil-rights lawsuit that claims Child Protection Services' laws in Minnesota are similar to kidnapping and should not be legal.

An association called Stop Child Protection Services from Legally Kidnapping Children brought the lawsuit against state and county agencies who enforce CPS laws on April 24, 2018. The 501(c)(3) association consists of about 5,000 parents who charge that CPS laws are unconstitutionally broad and allow for unnecessary investigations.

Some parents have reported instances of their children being removed from their homes unnecessarily based only on the discretion of a social worker. Maraliz James, mother of three, did not have her children for about a week.

"They wouldn't tell me where my children were," James said. "They did not allow me to see my children...To me, that is kidnapping."

James' case was eventually dismissed, which adds to her indignation. "They were just wrong," she said.

The case will go to federal court on Tuesday. Attorneys are expected to argue that laws involving the foster care system are unconstitutional and that there should be evidence of child abuse before Child Protection Services removes a child from their home.

The Department of Human Services Commissioner responded with this quote: "It is always a hard situation when courts or county social workers remove children from their parents' custody. That difficult decision is based on the individual facts of the case and the needs of the children. Once judges, social workers and other professionals complete a thorough evaluation and determine reunification is safe and in the best interests of kids, parents and children are in many instances reunited."

The association of parents is still looking to hire additional lawyers to help with their case. Group members are working to raise money and to file for grants.

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